By Alex Altman
From polls to social media, there are many ways to measure a brand’s public image. But trying to figure out what drove that perception in the first place is a different story. Several factors lead consumers to form the belief that Brand A is good and Brand B is bad. But study the most reputable companies in the world and you’ll find there are more commonalities than you think.
Here are five brands with favorable public images, and the reasons they appeal to consumers.
There’s a reason Rolex is the most respected company in the world. Not only does the luxury watchmaker produce some of the world’s most desirable timepieces, but it also pleases consumers with an active social responsibility agenda that includes fighting climate change, improving life in developing countries and supporting scientific and technological innovation.
The insurance industry has a poor reputation overall, but USAA is not to blame. In fact, a recent Harris Poll ranking of corporate reputations placed USAA at No. 4 behind Amazon, Apple and Google. The company, which provides insurance to former and current members of the military and their families, rated best for its emotional appeal and social responsibility.
Wrap your head around this: Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. And still, search represents just a fraction of Google’s contribution to mankind. Known for being free, fast and reliable, Google also scores points for its “data-driven, human-focused philanthropy” initiatives, which include supporting underdeveloped companies and fighting racial injustice. On top of all that, Google has an excellent customer service reputation.
Sony is another tech giant that’s built its reputation on innovation, customer service and charitable giving. The Japanese conglomerate donated $5 million following its home country’s massive earthquake in 2011 — despite the disaster costing it $1 billion in profits. Sony has also drawn praise for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and launching its Seed Acceleration Program that helps promising start-ups get off the ground.
There’s a certain mystique surrounding this regional burger chain. Though located in just six states, In-N-Out boasts a national reputation thanks not only to its menu, but also a company culture that most consumers endorse. All employees are paid well above the minimum wage, and store managers can work their way up to $120,000 per year. This, plus its ability to avoid any negative press, contributes to the brand’s glowing image.